HostMonster specialises in competitively-priced shared web hosting. The team present their services around a simple package with the option to upgrade and get additional features. The company was launched in 1996, so that makes it a well-established web hosting company compared to some newcomers.
HostMonster is an American company based in Provo, Utah. It is a sister company to BlueHost and FastDomain. Like its sister companies, HostMonster appears to have been acquired by the Endurance International Group, a huge web hosting organisation with over 2 million customers and 40 different hosting brands under one roof.
HostMonster Hosting Plans
HostMonster’s servers run Linux and, as you’d expect, the team utilise Apache web server software to host their customer’s websites. The servers are regularly updated with the latest versions of PHP, Python, MySQL and other software to keep on top of security issues.
There is no indication that HostMonster offers VPS hosting, dedicated server hosting or cloud hosting; their focus is on shared hosting. It does have an affiliate programme to reward people for referring new customers.
The basic HostMonster hosting plan is advertised at a competitive price and provides unlimited space, unlimited space for domain names and unlimited email accounts. You can upgrade to the Pro Package if you need even more: this gives you the fastest possible speed and a dedicated IP. The Pro Package also provides a site backup facility, SSL, Postini Anti-Spam protection and Domain Whois Privacy. Instead of the full Pro Package, you can choose to bolt on different parts of the services on offer.
HostMonster’s servers are located in Utah. The data centre is monitored 24 hours a day and 7 days a week and by technicians. Like many other companies, it boasts 99.9% uptime for your site, although I’ve not been able to find any historical uptime data to back this claim up.
The data centre makes use of a balanced, synchronised power system that will keep them running at an optimum level should any power outage occur. They also use a UPS backup power supply and have 24/7 live system monitoring in place. There is a an automatic backup system which covers customers for accidental loss of data to some degree.
The HostMonster Help Centre is available on the website, and this gives you access to knowledge base articles, tutorials, user forums and getting started guides. Technical support is available 24/7 via email, telephone and live chat, as well as providing access to the server status and helpdesk ticket history. There are a wide range of options for you to get the information you need.
The helpdesk team are also based in Utah in the USA and their service is free to use for all customers. Other support, such as billing enquiries, offers more restricted opening hours.
HostMonster also has a fairly active Twitter account. We noted regular tweets, and their team seem to respond quickly to followers. The HostMonster facebook page is not as active; at the time of writing this article, the last post was over a year old. The HostMonster fans’ Facebook pages are updated more regularly, as you might expect.
HostMonster in the News
HostMonster appears to have avoided any publicity, good or bad, despite being established for a number of years. We can only conclude that they provide a solid service which is - to date - free from controversy.
Host Monster Control Panel
Users can log in to the control panel through the front page of the website. HostMonster makes use of cPanel for site administration purposes, which is more or less the industry standard. That’s good news if you’re migrating and want to stick with a control panel you know well.
The HostMonster plan gives you one free domain name and a $100 Google Adwords credit to tempt you to sign up. You get plenty of one-click install options for over 70 scripts, including Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal and so on. There’s also a simple drag-and-drop website builder, Weebly.
HostMonster Money Back Guarantee / Cancellation Policy
You can cancel your agreement with HostMonster via email, phone or online chat, although you need to confirm that your files, emails and databases are all backed up and verify that you own the account/domain. You can cancel within 3 days of opening your agreement and receive a full refund with the exception of any additional packages including SSL, backup, SEO, SiteLock, domain names and domain privacy. If you cancel between 3 and 30 days after your agreement, you will be charged for any free domain names as well as and Postini or Dedicated IP fees.
On the face of things, HostMonster appears to be a fairly standard shared web hosting company with few features that make it shine out above the others. The service is well integrated and provides most of the standard website tools you’ll need, and their highly competitive prices will attract many potential customers.
The services they provide seem to be reliable and have a solid support network to back them up. American based support teams will also appeal to customers who want English-speaking support, particularly those in the US.